Retail Produce Manager Awards Program


The 2018 Retail Produce Manager Awards Program

Honoring the Best of the Produce Industry’s Front Line 

Winners to be honored at United Fresh 2018

June 25-27, 2018 | Chicago, IL

Submit My Nomination

This button will take you to a website where you can begin the nomination process.  The online form will allow you to save your progress and return and make edits in more than one session before submitting your final form.  If you prefer to submit your nomination in a word document, click here to download a nomination form.

Nominations must be received by January 24, 2018.

The United Fresh Retail Produce Manager Awards Program pays special recognition to produce managers on the front line in supermarkets who work every day to increase sales and consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
United Fresh will honor 25 of the industry’s top retail produce managers for their commitment to fresh produce, innovative merchandising, community service, and customer satisfaction.

Why Participate

This program honors produce managers who are making a difference and setting the standard of excellence in the produce department at store level. By nominating a produce manager, you’re offering them an opportunity to further their industry knowledge, engage with industry leaders, meet with produce companies and learn about the newest products at United Fresh 2018 in Chicago.

Raise the bar within your company and have your banner recognized as an industry leader. Nominate an outstanding Retail Produce Manager today!


THE UNITED FRESH 2018 EXPERIENCELeadership, Celebration of Excellence, Education, Networking

United Fresh 2018 has two conferences and expositions: United FreshMKT and United FreshTEC. 

United FreshMKT focuses on the latest fresh produce trends in addition to meal kits, organics, snack items, fresh juices, and much more. United FreshTEC highlights the most cutting-edge technologies for the fresh produce industry throughout the entire supply chain from field to retail merchandising innovations. New for 2018, the SmartFood Expo™ will feature natural foods that appeal to consumers’ demand for “better-for-you” foods. In addition, United Fresh 2018 will co-locate with the International Floriculture Expo and the Global Cold Chain Expo. Retailers will experience the entire fresh produce supply chain from grower to consumer in a business-friendly environment that offers strategic insights, innovative solutions and new partnerships to take your sales and profitability to the next level. 

Retail Produce Manager Award Winners are the ‘best of the best’ in their profession. At United Fresh 2018 they will be VIPs meeting with the produce industry’s top executives.  Every manager will return with an expanded knowledge of their role in the success of the industry.

Celebration of Excellence
The 2018 Retail Produce Manager Award Winners receive industry-wide recognition in trade publications, within their company, and on stage in Chicago before their colleagues and customers.

Retail Produce Manager Award Winners have the opportunity to attend education programs with topics including marketing and trend research, in addition to solutions driving efficiencies and advancements in the produce supply chain. They will gain valuable knowledge and share this insight with customers when they return to their stores.

Retail Produce Manager Award winners enjoy numerous opportunities to interact with United Fresh attendees and exhibitors. The exposition, meetings, receptions and dinners will allow the 2018 winners to get to know the people who bring their produce to market.

How To NominateSelection Criteria, Program Rules, Program Brochure, FAQs, Nomination Form

  1. Submit a nomination form on the United Fresh nominations portal or download a nomination form
  2. Nominations must be approved by the Retail Produce Executive (or designated corporate representative)
  3. Nominations must be received no later than January 24, 2018

Winners and their Corporate Produce Executives will attend United Fresh 2018 in Chicago, and be recognized at the Retail-Foodservice Celebration Event before industry peers.

Each year, hundreds of nominations are received. Nominators are encouraged to provide as much detail as possible in each category, showcasing why a produce manager deserves to be honored.


Nominations are evaluated on the following four criteria:

  • Innovative Merchandising, Special Displays and Sampling Programs
  • Produce-Related Community Service or Outreach
  • Recognition within their Company
  • Commitment to Customer Satisfaction and Promoting Fresh Produce


  • Companies may nominate multiple produce managers Past winners are not eligible
  • Nominees must be employed as a retail produce manager
  • The winning manager must be accompanied to United Fresh 2018 by a Produce Executive from the Retailer’s Corporate Headquarters Office
  • Nominations must be received no later than January 12, 2018

The 25 Winning Produce Managers and their Corporate Produce Executives will receive:

  • Roundtrip airfare and registration to United Fresh 2018
  • Two nights of hotel accommodations
  • Commemorative Plaque
  • Recognition on stage at the Retail-Foodservice Celebration, and five Grand Prize Winners will receive $1,000 each!

Program Brochure


Previous Award Winners

Since 2005, more than 300 produce managers have been honored, representing more than 100 retail banners. These produce managers represent the BEST of the BEST in our industry.


Past Winning Retail Banners


“The ability to creatively merchandise the product, interact with the customers, and oversee the growth of not only the product, but the people within the department, is paramount. The Produce Department is a vital part of our day-to-day business, and being able to undertake this and manage it successfully is something we truly appreciate and want to recognize in these individuals.”
Jeff Cady
Director of Produce/Floral at Tops Friendly Markets


“I have been a Produce Manager for over 8 years and have been in Produce for 14 years.  I can’t tell you how much this award has meant to me.  One of the greatest things about being a Produce Manager is that I work with a great team that works hard every day and we love the new and exciting world of produce and providing our customers with a healthy experience.”
Bridget Winkelman, Coborn’s Inc.
2017 Retail Produce Manager Award Winner


“I’m honored to receive the Produce Manager of the Year Award.  I feel quite humbled and am incredibly proud of my produce team.  I have been in this business for decades and it’s been an absolute pleasure to service our Harwich Stop & Shop customers and helping people of all ages learn about the benefits of eating fresh produce.” 
Al Garnett, Stop & Shop
2017 Retail Produce Manager Award Winner

If you have an outstanding produce manager on your retail team, nominate them to be a part of this exceptional program!

The United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, from growers, processors, wholesale distributors to foodservice and retail operators. United Fresh retail members enjoy quarterly pricing and trend reports, service on the United Fresh Retail-Foodservice Board and expert consultation on key issues that impact their procurement and store-level operations.

“Produce managers are the face of our industry to the consumer. Their creativity and positive interaction with customers grows produce sales and ultimately consumption of fruits and vegetables. This program is a powerful way to send a message to produce managers everywhere that we value what they do.”

Tom Stenzel
President & CEO
United Fresh Produce Association

Special thanks to the Retail Produce Manager Awards Sponsor:


As one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, Dole Food Company, Inc., is proud to honor the Produce Managers who are driven to make a difference in our industry and the communities in which they live.

“We feel very fortunate to be partners with United Fresh in presenting this award.  It’s Dole’s name as title sponsor, but truly the whole fresh produce industry owes these recipients their appreciation for all they do to help promote sales of our products.”

Tim Stejskal
General Manager and Senior Vice President of Sales 
Dole Fresh Vegetables




For questions about the Retail Produce Manager Awards Program, contact Jeff Oberman, United Fresh Vice President of Trade Relations, at 831.600.8922.